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UNHCR 

(United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees
 

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The FIVB has now been working together with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees since 1996, in their efforts to rebuild societies and relieve refugees' distress in UNHCR camps worldwide.

Our efforts to enliven the long days in refugee camps have been contributing effectively to build self-esteem, social skills and teamwork, so much needed to heal disrupted communities.

 

Action in Gabon and Sri Lanka

As part of the continuing program started with the UNHCR, the FIVB is implementing two new projects in 2003, in Gabon and Sri Lanka.

Gabon hosts 12,700 refugees, mainly from the Republic of Congo and the Democratic Republic of Congo, and some 5,600 asylum-seekers.

Sri Lanka has 800,000 internally displaced people in addition to 84,000 Sri Lankan refugees in Tamil Nadu in Southern India.

 
  Photos of the donated FIVB Volleyball equipment being used in Gabon
(click for larger image)


World Refugee Day

The FIVB marked World Refugee Day on June 20 earlier this year by donating 50 volleyballs and 10 nets to 40 Welfare Centres in Jaffna, Sri Lanka.

In Jaffna alone there are 85 Welfare Centres accommodating nearly 2,000 displaced families (over 8,000 people) with capacities ranging from five to more than 100 families, of whom 1,200 youths can benefit from the donation of Volleyball equipment.

Due to the lack of a stable source of family income most of the youths in the Welfare Centres engage in labor work outside of the Welfare Centre during the day to support their families but due to the limited space available favorite pastimes like cricket and soccer are inaccessible.

This makes Volleyball a valuable tool as it can be easily enjoyed by many of the youths and is a good and healthy way for them to release their stress from hard labor work during the daytime. It also promotes communication and interaction, which is lacking at the moment.

 


T-shirts for Refugees

As well as supplying balls and nets to the refugees of Pakistan and East Timor, the FIVB invites your National Federation to join us in our joint venture with the UNHCR by sending any used clean Volleyball uniforms in good order to the FIVB that your teams do not use anymore.  Your National Federation will receive photos of the uniforms being worn by the refugees.

For the postal address of the FIVB, please click here.

 
Volleyball helps to rebuild shattered East Timor

A picture tells a thousand words and nothing tells the story of FIVB's cooperation with UNHCR quite as poiqnantly as these images of returnee children playing Volleyball in traumatized East Timor.

In 2002, the FIVB supported the United Nations High Commission for Refugees on a program where donations of Volleyball balls and nets were distributed to returnees in East Timor and refugee camps from troubled Afghanistan in Pakistan.

The program has enjoyed great success and United Nations Secretary General Kofi Annan has publicly acknowledged sport as a potent healer in conflict situations by the appointment of former Swiss Federal President Mr. Adolf Ogi, as his Special Advisor on Sport for Development and Peace.

East Timor is a country still struggling to recover from the effects of the war in 1999.  UNHCR reported the country's infrastructure is in ruins and with up to 90 per cent unemployment, one can see children aliented and frustrated and easily swayed by the attraction of petty street crimes.

The Volleyball program helps to create team spirit, fosters re-building friendships and tolerance across the boundaries of villages and districts, and in doing so helps to sustain community reintegration.


FIVB's donation went to remote sub districts of Oecusse near the West Timor border, in the five sub districts of Maliana, Lourba, Balibo, Marco and Atabe Los, going to schools in towns and remote hill stations and to Covalima, Ainaro and Manufahi in the Suai District.  In the capital Dili, the Dili Mobile Team, aided by the United Nations Police, the East Timor Police Service, District Education Departments and church groups pooled resources to distribute the equipment to schools, youth groups, villages, orphanages and churches.